I got asked today if being with the boys on my own is hard.

The short answer is the one I go with most times “Oh, you know, it’s hard for all parents. I am lucky we have a house and live in such a nice place” and so on.
This is the safe one.

The longer answer is that I don’t know if it is hard or not.
I have only done this bit of the parenting thing alone.
I think it is probably less difficult with two parents but I don’t know that is is because I have not done it.

It may sound a bit mealy mouthed, of course it must be easier with two parents, how could it not be?

But I don’t know, and I don’t want to lie about it.

I used to ask my friend what it was like to be colour blind.

“How the hell should I know?” was his usual response.
How would he know what it was like to never see colour? He had never seen colour so he did not know what he was missing.

I have lived a life with my beautiful wife and family but that was with a baby and a toddler and before I was the person I have become in the last few years.
To a degree I can see what I am missing.
It would be better if she was here.
I would be better if she was here.
They would be better if she was here.

There is no question or choice to be made. It would be so much better if my wife had not died.

But me and the Proles are very different people than the ones we were five years ago.

Is it hard for us to live together now?
Do I find it hard to live with the Proles?

I watched a family of four in town today, a man and a woman in their mid thirties, small boy about five years old and a small toddling girl.
They were arguing.
The whole family were arguing. I did not listen to it but the toddler was crying and the child and his parents were all loudly disagreeing.
It was not a particularly disturbing scene, it was not a bad argument, there was no threat, it was just a fairly normal family having an argument.
I was struck by the thought that me and the Proles don’t do that.

I suppose I am saying that I don’t let us do that.
I suppose as well the Proles look after me enough to not let us do that.

Everything has to be paid for.

Each one of us has a store of currency that we can use to pay for life.
My personal emotional bank is quite low, it has been for a while.
For a long time I was quite bankrupt.
These days I can expend an entire week’s worth of emotion very quickly, there is no buffer zone between normality and utter despair.
Rationality provides perspective so I don’t stay down for long and anyway human beings are prone to happiness (the popular press don’t like to admit to this but it is true, even in the most extreme circumstances there is humour and even joy)
It is handy that one can think rationally when simply hearing Boney M’s version of ‘Train to Skaville’ can reduce me to floods of tears to the point where I have to stop the car until I have sobbed to a halt, scrabbled around for something absorbent, wiped away all the tears and snot, reassured the Proles that I am safe to drive, mirrored, signalled, manoeuvred and can got back on the road again.

But I do get back out on the road again because a lay by on the A30 is no place to spend the rest of your life and ultimately you start to feel a bit foolish sat there.

The point is that I don’t have the emotional armour or stability to argue with the boys for long.
If I ever do it goes downhill so very fast I just try very hard not do it.
It seems like such a monumental waste of emotion.
Why on earth would I waste it on that? When we could be talking or laughing or anything other than spending precious life disagreeing?

The Proles can punch my buttons pretty accurately these days but they know that the consequence is that whatever we are doing is pretty much over. If they throw a tantrum for too long or refuse to talk things through I won’t fight them on it, we will just go home.
Likewise I have to rein it in with them when I see things going wrong.

There are all sorts of things I don’t know.
I don’t know if lots of money makes you happy or not.
I have been told it does not but since I have never really had much and on my part time wage it seems unlikely that I shall any time soon I can only guess or fantasise about it.

But these are the days of austerity measures.

I would like to have Loz back, it would be nice to have a second income of emotion, love and care for the Proles.
I certainly would not fritter it away like I did in the past.

Living with the Proles is not hard.
Living with the Proles is brilliant.
We are just missing Loz.